- Gessner Road


This covers Gessner Road and South Gessner Road within the confines of Beltway 8, starting from the new South Houston page. Version 8.0 adds Riceville Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Joe D. Johnson Center, Valero, 99 Cents Only Stores (former Handy Andy/Phar-Mor), Summerfield Apartments, Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center (restored and rewritten), Chapelwood United Methodist Church - Fair Haven Campus, Gessner Park Apartments, Shell, Best Way Auto Sales, Party Piñatas, 2028 Gessner Road (former Sonic/Taco Kaliente), Gessner Auto Finance (former Diamond Shamrock/Valero), and US Med-Equip Incorporated. Updated entries include Central Park Apartments (minor), Wendy's, Hanmi Bank, Whataburger (at Emnora), Walgreens (at Kempwood; minor), and Valero (at Clay, minor--cutting out Bucky's/Star Stop in preparation for the expanded Clay/Crosstimbers page). It fixes a few typos and coding errors as well.


Walgreens / 12611 S. Gessner Road
This stand-alone Walgreens at Beltway 8 and S. Gessner opened in early 2004.

Gross Elementary School / 12583 S. Gessner Road
This (unusually named) school opened as the private I. Weiner Jewish Secondary School in 1979. It moved out in spring 2001 (to the new combined campus of The Emery/Weiner School at 9825 Stella Link for the first time) and reopened in fall 2001 as an HISD school named after Jenard M. Gross and opened in fall 2001.

Welch Middle School / 11544 S. Gessner Road
This Houston ISD school was constructed around 1980 and known at various times as "Welch Jr.-Sr. High School" or "Welch Junior High School" before becoming known as Welch Middle School since the mid-1980s.

Riceville Mt. Olive Baptist Church / 11539 S. Gessner Road
The "South Campus" of Riceville Mt. Olive Baptist Church is the main building and was built in 2002. Their old building, the "North Campus", is listed below (as "Joe D. Johnson Center").

Walmart Neighborhood Market / 11242 South Gessner Road
Originally branded as "Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market" until some point in the early-to-mid 2010s, this grocery store opened January 30, 2002. The other businesses at the Bellfort intersection all have Bellfort addresses, and won't be covered in this page.

Joe D. Johnson Center / 11231 South Gessner Road
This was built as (and still owned by) Riceville Mount Olive Baptist Church in 1971. It was later dubbed the "North Campus" with the new "South Campus" (the main building) construction in 2002 and is used as auxiliary space these days.

Texans Can Academy - Houston Southwest / 10914 S. Gessner Road
This dropout recovery high school opened in January 2021. The facility was built as Spike Sport, an indoor volleyball club around 2008, but at some point around the late 2010s they moved to 15250 Hillcroft Avenue in Missouri City. By 2019 Texans Can was renovating the space.

Westbrae Post Office / 10910 South Gessner Road
This U.S. post office was built in the 1980s. There isn't anything particularly special about it from what I can tell.

Valley West Elementary School / 10707 S. Gessner Rd.
This opened around 1996 in a former Food Lion grocery store that operated from 1993 to 1994. (See Houston Historic Retail for more).

Valero / 10619 South Gessner Road
This gas station opened in 2020. The convenience store, "Trifuel", only takes up half of the building, the other half is for lease.

China House / 8797 S. Gessner Road
China House has been here since 1997, it replaced Captain D's, which had been here from around 1978 to January 1996.

99 Cents Only Stores / 8700 South Gessner Road
99 Cents Only takes up most of this building (an ER office takes a small portion) but from 1974 to 1979 this was Handy Andy. While Randalls bought four locations, four others went to other operators or closed entirely. Rice Food Markets bought this one and one other, but they ended up closing the location after just a year, if that. The Original Christmas Store moved in for fall 1981. The store was open all year 'round except around August to restock and redecorate, and departed in January 1988. (Yes. It was more successful as a year-round Christmas store than as a supermarket.) In November 1988 as one of Houston's first two Phar-Mor drug superstores, and closed in fall 1994 during the chain's bankruptcy. In 1999 it became the headquarters for a short-lived telecom company ("Smoke Signals Communications", later "Choctaw Communications" within months). 99 Cents Only Stores held its grand opening in December 2003...and that's been here since!


Marshalls / 8100 S. Gessner Road
Part of Southway Shopping Center (local archive here), this was Kids' Kounty from 1973 to 1975, operating at the same time as the Katy Freeway location (see "Echo Lane Shopping Center" at the Katy Freeway page). The original Kids' Kounty stores were quite extravagant but in 1975 the stores were closed were converted to Fun City Toys, which eventually became Lionel Playworld Fun City before closing in 1982. Marshalls opened in 2006, from 1990 to January 2002 it was OfficeMax (opened and converted from BizMart), from 1983 to 1990 was Front Row. (This is placed ahead of Taqueria Arandas deliberately, it's where it is).

Taqueria Arandas / 8111 S. Gessner Road
This opened as a Steak 'n Shake in 1976 in in its first ill-fated Houston outing and was sold to Grandy's (Grandy's Country Cupboard as it was known when it opened), which it would be from approximately 1978 to 1997 before becoming Taqueria Cancun, a locally-based Mexican cantina restaurant and closed in 2014. It opened in 2015 as the first corporate-owned Taqueria Arandas.

CVS/pharmacy y más / 7950 South Gessner Road
This stand-alone CVS store opened in early 2004 and converted to their Hispanic-oriented "CVS pharmacy y más" format between 2021 and 2022. Despite their removal of the "open 24 hours" sign in the process, it is still open 24 hours, at least according to Google.

Summerfield Apartments / 7514 S. Gessner Road
These apartments were built in 1969 as "Chateaux Margaux" (about 115 units) and was rebranded to the less-of-a-mouthful "Summerfield" in 1975. (The "Apartments" part came later).

A1 Check Cashing / 6605 S. Gessner Road
Also known as A1 Check Cashing #5 or "1% Checks Cashed", this was Pizza Hut from 1977 to 2008. It still looks like Pizza Hut, of course.

El Quetzal Bakery & Restaurant / 5930 South Gessner Road
This opened as a McDonald's in 1989, though I'm unable to find if they added indoor "Playplace" when the store was built or afterward. In 2012, McDonald's vacated the location and moved to 5800 S. Gessner Road (see below). It served as TitleMax Title Loans from 2013 to 2016 before El Quetzal moved in around 2018 from 6014 S. Gessner Road.

Taco Bell / 5849 S. Gessner Road
This stand-alone Taco Bell was built in the parking lot in 2020.

McDonald's / 5800 S. Gessner Road
This McDonald's (opened 2012) physically replaced a long-defunct Shell station (yellow and grey) and functionally replaced its old location at 5930 South Gessner Road (see above).

Elan / 3803 South Gessner Road
As of December 2007 this was a closed Exxon (which appears to have operated from 1987 to 2003) but reopened by 2011 as a Texaco. Between early 2020 and early 2021 this became "Elan".

Central Park Apartments / 3230 South Gessner Road
The Park Apartments at Westchase (or just "The Park Apartments" as it was known by 1984) opened in 1977 with the tagline "Hang out with some shady characters" (referring to trees, though the tagline would probably be prophetic later on) and was an all-adult (no children/families) apartment complex originally.

The first reference to the current name appears in 2002 though it could've happened earlier.


Here's Westheimer Road. South Gessner Road becomes Gessner Road at the Buffalo Bayou.

El Tiempo Cantina / 2605 S. Gessner Road
The original restaurant that was here (then 100 Woodlake Square), a tiki hut-themed location of Don the Beachcomber, opened in the mid-1970s but was closed and torn down within a decade for Flakey Jake's, a hamburger restaurant similar to Fuddruckers, but it closed in September 1986 just after about a year of operation. From 1989 to 1999 was Marco's Mexican Restaurant. From approximately 1999 to 2004 it was Tortuga's Coastal Cantina.

In 2004, it became a new location of Amazon Grill and after it closed, became a location of El Tiempo Cantina in August 2014, which it still is. It was one of the few buildings to survive the rebuilding of Woodlake Square.

Ventura Lofts / 2401 S. Gessner Road
This upscale apartment building built in 2008 was on the site of an office building owned by Exxon.

A 1986 article mentions that the building changed hands from Esso Eastern to a newly-formed subsidiary, Exxon Coal and Minerals Company. Esso Eastern had moved to New Jersey as part of a reorganization under Exxon (why they continued to keep the Esso name on some subsidiaries after the big Exxon rebranding in the early 1970s is a mystery). Another article mentions the three-building complex was built around 1972 for Esso Eastern.

Pearl Woodlake / 2033 S. Gessner Road
Pearl Woodlake, a 376-unit apartment complex composed of four 4-story buildings (plus a massive parking garage) and built in 2015, replaced an apartment complex called Quadrangle Townhomes (also known as Quadrangle of Woodlake Apartments) which were demolished in 2013 (the Yelp page is still up). It also changed the address—Quadrangle had the address of 2021 S. Gessner Road.

The Quadrangle was built as an office/apartment development in the early 1970s, with the offices having the address of 2055 S. Gessner and formally known as The Tenney Building by the early 2010s (due to its largest tenant, The Tenney School, which relocated out of the building upon demolition). The former space of the office component is still vacant.

The Tealstone / 150 Gessner Road
South Gessner Road ends at Buffalo Bayou, Gessner Road begins north of it. The Tealstone is a 15-story condo is even before the first stoplight of Gessner. Surprisingly, the building predates many of the larger buildings in the area, being built in 1983.


Frostwood Elementary School / 12214 Memorial Drive
Frostwood Elementary School (SBISD) faces Memorial but it still has parking and other access off of Gessner at the northeast corner of the Memorial and Gessner intersection. The school was torn down and rebuilt in the early 2010s (functional by spring of 2014).

One Memorial City Plaza / 800 Gessner Road
One of two twin twelve-story office buildings, built in 1981. It is here, at the Barryknoll intersection, where Gessner gains/loses a third through lane (additional lanes are around the freeway area). The lane emerges/disappears toward the inside of the road.

Comerica Bank / 835 Gessner Road
Directly at the southwest corner of Kingsride and Gessner is this bank. It was formerly a Sterling Bank until 2011 when Comerica bought Sterling Bancshares. At the southeast side of the intersection was the former Sears Auto Center. Formerly numbered at 875 Gessner Road (which doesn't make sense as it was on the wrong side of the road), this closed in fall 2018 with the store but was demolished in 2023, a few years after the main Sears store was flattened.

Wells Fargo / 901 Gessner Road
This Wells Fargo bank has been here since 1997. To the immediate west of it is an empty lot at 12310 Kingsride Lane. ormer home to Papa Joe's BBQ and torn down in early 2014. It was a former Jack in the Box from 1975 to around 2003 or 2004, becoming Papa Joe's soon after.

915 Gessner Road
Medical office building attached to one of Memorial Hermann's parking garages but not the main hospital complex itself.

Memorial City Mall / 303 Memorial City Way
Memorial City Mall has been here since 1966 and is one of the premier enclosed malls in the Houston area, currently anchored by Macy's, Target, Dillard's, and JCPenney, as well as featuring an ice rink and movie theater. Check out the separate page for the mall here, a comprehensive history of the mall with maps over the years.

The Westin / 945 Gessner Road
This is the third Westin hotel in the Houston area and the only one not attached to the Galleria. From what I can tell it's attached to Medical Plaza 4 (which used to connect to Memorial City Mall directly) but not directly part of the main hospital.

Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center / 921 Gessner Road
I've also seen 929 for the "main" address for this hospital, but make no mistake—this place is huge, with its flagship "crown" tower completed in 2009 (this is probably the actual 929 address). It actually holds offices within the crown. Before the main headquarters of Memorial Hermann were moved here, it was built back in 1971 as Memorial City General Hospital with a merger in the late 1980s causing it to assume its current name. It also had the address of 920 Frostwood before changing it to Gessner around the late 1990s or early 2000s.

As the hospital did expand, it overtook other buildings and lots. One of these, for instance, was the home of Globe Shopping City (a division of Walgreens), which opened a large store (about 80,000 square feet) across from the Memorial City Mall at Katy Freeway in 1968. This store, which contained all the typical discount store departments, also included a "Food Department", though it isn't entirely clear if it was essentially a separate store or not (like many food stores adjacent to discounters, they were operated by third parties, in this case, Rice). In 1978, Walgreens closed the money-losing chain, with FedMart purchasing the properties and reopening them in 1979, many of them replacing an older, smaller FedMart store. In 1981, FedMart closed the Houston stores before the chain went out of business a few years later. By 1984, Mervyn's department store was operating at the site, having completed a full remodel inside and out. But like with FedMart, Mervyn's did not last long at the site, as an opportunity opened in 1989 that allowed Mervyn's to actually be at Memorial City Mall in Lord & Taylor's old space, joining fellow department stores Foley's, Sears, and Montgomery Ward.

This left 975 Gessner vacant once more, and by 1990, Oshman's SuperSports USA opened, a "super-store" operated by the Oshman's sporting goods chain. In mid-2004, Oshman's left for a new store on the Katy Freeway, going under the name of their new owner, Sports Authority. The widening of Katy Freeway took nothing from the lot, but a new owner, Memorial Hermann, would buy the space, building a large hospital headquarters in the spot. They would connect it to an existing hospital adjacent but used this address. As a result, by May 2005, the nearly 40-year-old building was gone and new construction began.

Another lot eaten by the hospital was a Shell (Memorial City Shell) at 999 Gessner, located at the direct southwest corner of I-10 and Gessner. It was a Shell of the "three hexagon canopy" variety (see the Katy page for another example) and was demolished in late 2005. It probably would've survived the widening of the Katy Freeway but was purchased by the hospital.


Yes, and Gessner does connect to Katy Freeway, which was linked from here. The main Katy page is right here, check it out!

CVS/pharmacy / 1002 Gessner Road
The construction of the Katy Freeway dramatically changed the north side of the road, and a CVS was built here in 2009. Previously, after the stoplight at Katy Freeway, there was a railroad crossing, then Old Katy Road, then a shopping center to the west and an Exxon station to the east. Directly across from the "I-10 & Gessner Exxon" was a Luther's Bar-B-Q at 1001 Gessner, demolished around 2005 for Katy Freeway expansion.

1018-1020 Gessner Road
This used to be part of a slightly larger strip center but now is completely vacant. It was built in 1969 and had four spaces. 1014 Gessner is the least known location. While it operated as Cingular Wireless (later AT&T) from 2001 to 2011 before moving to the other side of the complex, Austin-based ThunderCloud Subs operated here in the late 1990s, and other records include Photomax in the 1980s and Houston Printing in the mid-1990s. Next door, 1016 Gessner, held the largest tenant, a Pier 1 Imports store at 1016 Gessner, which operated until 2000, by which time it was the Pier 1 Imports Clearance Center (it seems it had been an outlet store since the mid-1990s).

To the left of Pier 1 was briefly Pottery Plus, a dinnerware store with two other Houston locations from 1979 to approx. 1982, and a RadioShack from fall 1982 to 2015 with the bankruptcy of the company (the store on the other side of the freeway inside Memorial City Mall closed at the same time. It should be noted that with the demolition of 1014 Gessner in the early 2010s and the relocation of AT&T, the RadioShack downsized its location. It was larger because it originally housed "Radio Shack Computer Center" in 1982 and was likely signed as "Radio Shack Plus Computer Center".

The final space, 1020 Gessner Road, was a CashAmerica Pawn from 1998 to 2022. The earliest thing I could find for this address was United Rent-All, later known as Rental World Inc. (1973-1985). Later tenants included New Age Computers (1988-1991), Mattress Direct (1993-1994), and Sid Binder's Jewelry & Loan (c. 1996).

1035 Gessner Road
This address consists of two buildings, Torchy's Tacos (A) and Mia's Table (B). Both restaurants opened in 2020 in front of where a supermarket was at 1049 Gessner, but had been gone for years. Originally it opened as a Kroger (likely sometime in the early 1980s) and closed around 1996. In March 1997, it reopened as a second Memorial Market supermarket (the smaller first one was on Katy Freeway in a former Continental Finer Foods) after renovations, with a focus on international items. Within about 5 or 6 years, Memorial Market transitioned into more of a strictly Korean supermarket. In 2004, it was sold and converted to Komart Marketplace, which also has a Dallas location. I'm currently unable to ascertain whether Memorial Market was sold or rebranded (if it closed it wasn't for very long) but either way in 2010, the store closed down for good and was demolished for redevelopment. As of early 2016, the sign for Komart still remained up, but that went away as construction continued to change the area.

Mister Car Wash / 1038 Gessner Road
This long-standing car wash has been here since 1973. In 2019, it updated to the modern Mister Car Wash logo and updated the exterior, probably in conjunction with the parking lot entrance getting signalized as part of Mathewson Lane's extension.

Whataburger / 1040 Gessner Road
This Whataburger restuarant was built in '95.

Charter Auto Leasing & Rental, Inc. / 1205 Gessner Road
This building opened in 1974 as a Sizzler, and like most of the other Sizzler restaurants in the area, closed after 1984. This never saw use as a restaurant again. In 1990 it was an insurance office (Fairway Acceptance). It should be noted that in the 1970s, the parking lot was much larger (an office building was built in the parking lot).

Taco Bell / 1223 Gessner Road
This was originally built and opened as Bojangles' in April 1985 (the chain left Houston within a year). By 1993, it was operating as Arby's, but in 1996 the building was torn down and replaced with a Taco Bell.

Wendy's / 1225 Gessner Road
One of Houston's earlier Wendy's stores (opened in 1975) had, until 2022, some original signage, with "Featuring Chili & Frosty" sign in teal. It has seen updates since, in 2008, it ditched the solarium seating area, and in 2022 not only updated the restaurant's exterior (again) but changed out the sign to the modern logo.

English Oaks Apartments / 1320 Gessner Road
The first phase of English Oaks Apartments opened in Feburary 1970 (120 units, the other 60 were completed later that year). Despite some updates over the years, the apartments have declined (by the mid-1990s it was advertising Section 8 was welcome), but, extraordinarily, they have kept their name for over 50 years.

1320 Gessner was previously John Robert Powers School, a finishing school franchise for would-be models, though the franchised schools (of which 1320 Gessner was almost certainly part of) used misleading advertising to attract customers. Based on a wedding announcement just two years prior that mentioned the address, the building was almost certainly a converted residence.

McDonald's / 1303 Gessner Road
A McDonald's was here since the 1970s. Sometime in 2006-2007 it was torn down and replaced with a restaurant that faced Westview Road (and has since renovated to remove the mansard roof).

Chapelwood United Methodist Church - Fair Haven Campus / 1330 Gessner Road
Fair Haven Methodist Church (later Fair Haven United Methodist Church) first held services here back in 1957 and in 2017 merged into Chapelwood United Methodist Church. They actually do have a church history page that describes all that.

EZPAWN / 1340 Gessner Road
EZPAWN has been here since the early 1990s, and it built as a floral shop, which operated most of the 1980s.

1410 Gessner Road
Amco Auto Insurance vacated here in 2019, and the building was repainted white. Previous tenants here include Gram's Empanadas (2014-2015, building was gray with blue trim), Daiquiri King (2012-2013), Oasis (late 2010-late 2011), Manna Restaurant (also Manna Noodle House, 1999-2008), Mimi Oyster Bar Cafe (1998), Las Llardas (1996-1997), Taco Grill (1994-1995), Ninfa's Mexican Cafe (1990-1993...possibly), and Bambolino's (as of 1989, a Ninfa's-owned pizza restaurant).

ACE Cash Express / 1414 Gessner Road
Fast food to some sort of cash/title loan place isn't uncommon but ACE Cash Express has been here since 1992. It opened as Church's Chicken and one of the bunch sold to Kentucky Fried Chicken circa 1982. Kentucky Fried Chicken closed in 1987, and it was Blimpie for a few years (1988-1990) as well.

Jack in the Box / 1419 Gessner Road
This Jack in the Box was built in 1970 and still retains its original (if updated) architecture.

Tom's Ace Hardware / 1503 Gessner Road
This hardware store opened in December 1965 as Oak Ridge Hardware. Rarely does a building on Gessner look and function almost identically as it did over 50 years ago but here we are. By the late 1970s it was Kelly's Oak Ridge Ace Hardware and Tom's Ace Hardware as early as 1990.

Hawallano / 1521 Gessner Road
From 1970 to to the very late 1990s, this was Pizza Inn and was Seafood Shack from spring 1999 to the early 2000s. A report from June 2001 indicates that sometime around early 2001 the restaurant's food quality took a sharp downturn: "Daryl Walburg of Houston says after several months he revisited Seafood Shack, 1521 Gessner, expecting the same great food. Instead of large, perfectly fried shrimp and fish, crisp fries and delicious cole slaw on the seafood platter, there were tiny, tough and greasy shrimp, a hard, old-tasting catfish fillet, limp, cold fries and cole slaw not worth mentioning. When Walburg complained to the owner, the owner shrugged it off. Unfortunately, the restaurant requires patrons to pay in advance, when the order is placed, Walburg says." It was Seafood Shack's last month in business. Jarro Cafe took up residence in August 2003 and moved out around 2014, replaced quickly by its current tenant.

O'Reilly Auto Parts / 1527 Gessner Road
This opened as Fischer's Auto Parts (#2) from approximately 1966 to 1989 when Hi/Lo Auto Supply bought the chain and rebranded it around 1990. In the late 1990s, Hi/Lo was purchased and rebranded to O'Reilly Auto Parts.

Sunny Food Store / 1603 Gessner Road
Also known as "Sunny's", this opened around 1965 as UtoteM #55 and converted to Circle K in 1984. It has been operating as Sunny's Food Store since around 1991, though the gas brand in the 1990s is unknown.

Hanmi Bank / 1611 Gessner Road
This opened as the very first Two Pesos location (originally known as "Natcho's", the Two Pesos name came soon after) in 1982. In 1993 it was converted to Taco Cabana but it closed in late 1995. In December 1997, it was renovated and reopened as United Central Bank (despite looking to this day very Two Pesos/Taco Cabana-ish) and in 2014, the bank was acquired and rebranded as Hanmi Bank.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen / 1615 Gessner Road
This Popeyes has been here since 1992, assuming the "Louisiana Kitchen" moniker in the early 2010s with a repaint.

Frank Cars 4 Less / 1624 Gessner Road
This building dates back to 1972 but has been an auto sales lot since at least the early 1990s (not necessarily the current name, it has changed hands a few times). As of January 2017 it was Mi Amigo Auto Sales, which it had been since 2011.

Shipley Do-Nuts / 1629 Gessner Road
According to tax records, Shipley has been here since 1989.

Taqueria Arandas / 1630 Gessner Road
Longhorn Barbecue opened here in January 1967. An article from 2015 indicates that it was supposed to be a franchise, and after it shuttered (tax records indicate early 1980s, with the replacement, El Patio Restaurant opened in the mid-1980s), the operations team went onto "help build the Luther's Bar-B-Q chain". If the chronology is right, this would've been at the time Chart House (company named after their flagship steakhouse brand) purchased Luther's, though this all ended in the mid-1980s when Chart House was purchased by Godfather's Pizza (renamed Diversifoods to reflect their new holdings), which in turn was purchased by Pillsbury in 1985. Afterwards Pillsbury lost interest in Luther's and eventually sold it.

Anyway, after El Patio, the restaurant served as a location of Taqueria Cancun #7 (#6 was at 2227 Gessner Road, listed below) from 2000 to 2013. It has been Taqueria Arandas since then.

Baskin-Robbins / 1634 Gessner Road
While HCAD says 1964, Baskin-Robbins has been scooping ice cream here since 1966. The first line of flavors available at the ice cream shop can be seen here.

Jerry's Laundry & Cleaners / 1636 Gessner Road
Jerry's Laundry & Cleaners has been here since the early 1990s. In the 1960s it was part of a chain of Asian-styled architecture laundromats (of which 1636 Gessner still is) called Sav-On Cleaners and Launderers. An ad for Sav-On (with its various locations) can be seen here.

First Cash Pawn / 1640 Gessner Road
This opened as "Half Price Pawn" in 2018 and was rebranded in 2022. The building was built as Approved Motor Company in 2012; previously it was an outdoor used car lot but I cannot find what it was before that.

Gessner Park Apartments / 1776 Gessner Road
Also known as Gessner Park Apartment Homes or simply Gessner Park, these apartments were built in 1970 and by 1983 had the name of SpringTowne Apartments (it is unknown if this was the original name or not). It gained the Gessner Park name between 2008 and 2011.

Shell / 1801 Gessner Road
This Shell with "Roadster" (opened early 2019) has a taqueria inside along with a smaller vacant space. Previously, this was a converted gas station with Jordan Car Wash and an auto mechanic (research indicates "Clark Motors", though the building just read "Mecanico"). The distinctive original building was built as a Philips 66 in the 1960s.


Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a PDF of Gessner IV Shopping Center at press time, but I was able to at least get the Loopnet page which has a picture of the shopping center when it still had AutoZone.
  • Value Village (1811 Gessner) opened as Rice Food Markets back in 1966 but as early as 1973 it changed hands to Gerland's Food Fair (despite Gerland's having another store just up the road at 2555 Gessner). In 1988, it became The Home Front, a chain of discount linens and housewares stores, and in 1995 it closed for Value Village, a thrift store, which it still is today.
  • Mading Drugs was open by 1967 at 1815 Gessner as a complement to Rice and by 1969 had become Mading Dugan. In 1970, Jack Eckerd Corp. of Florida purchased the stores and converted them to Eckerd in 1971. Around 1973 Eckerd closed this location (though would continue to be in Houston for another 30 years before the chain was dismantled and the Texas stores sold to CVS) and became "Art Loft & Framery Inc.", which moved in 1983 to 2651 Gessner. After that, it became Auto Shack in 1985. Auto Shack later became known as AutoZone following a trademark dispute from Tandy's Radio Shack, and in 2009 moved across the street to a new building at 1834 Gessner. In 2014, it became i-Deal Solid Furniture (with a "Factory Store" sign next to it, though it was the only store of its kind), which lasted until 2019, and is now Dreams Mattresses & Furniture. Dreams' road sign says "Low Price Furniture" with the tiny Dreams logo next to it. i-Deal is bolded in this section because that's what I remember it as.
  • Houston Watch Company in the picture above helps date the picture from Loopnet, it existed from 1978 to 2004 at 1823 (North) Gessner Road. Cricket Wireless was here from 2007 to 2015/2016, and in March 2016, the Cricket sign was dismantled for El Kiosko, a snack bar, which is still there as of this writing.

AutoZone / 1818 Gessner Road
This building was originally an Eagle Discount Supermarket debuting in January 1970 with two others (3102 Kirby and 6425 San Felipe) as the first three Eagle stores in the Houston area, and featured a pharmacy (the Kirby store did not). The stores were operated by Lucky Stores out of California (why they chose to brand them as Eagle, a Midwestern division, instead of their flagship Lucky brand, was probably due to the "Lucky 7" grocery co-op in the area), and they even owned the larger Gemco membership stores.

In 1985, Lucky pulled the plug on their two-dozen store operation in the Houston area (Gemco had already closed by this time) and the store closed. By late 1987, it had become Sak-N-Sav Super Foods (this also had other locations in the Houston area, though none of them exist today, the last one being off of Ella and closing in the late 2000s). Sometime around 1991, Sak-N-Sav (now Sak-N-Sav Warehouse Foods) closed and Price Buster Foods (owned by Rice Food Markets) opened store #113 in May 1992.

In the mid to late 1990s, Price Buster folded and by 1999 it was a location of A-1 Flea Market (which had two other locations, 13945 Murphy Road and 717 Maxey Road). In 2003, it reopened as 99 Cent Only Stores but closed around 2009. In November 2011, it reopened as ALCO (a picture of this building can be seen at this Chronicle article) but it closed in 2014 when the chain liquidated. Finally, in late summer (or early fall) 2016, AutoZone moved into the store, replacing its smaller store in the parking lot.

Mac Haik Auto / 1834 Gessner Road
This was built in 2009 as a new location of AutoZone, and after AutoZone moved in 2016, it became a Mac Haik pre-owned mini-dealership. Previously, the lot was two businesses, the original 1834, an auto garage last operating as Tuneup Masters and a building that was clearly a former Pizza Hut (which operated from 1975 to approx. 1990 when it moved). It later served as Taqueria Arandas up until demolition in the late 2000s.


Best Way Auto Sales / 1902 Gessner Road
Best Way Auto Sales, or more accurately, Best Way Auto Sales 2 started out as a restaurant, as of 1967 it was the Big "R" Restaurant, but by 1976 it was Gessner Auto Sales, a used car dealer. It is still a used car dealer today.

Party Piñatas / 1905 Gessner Road
Party Piñatas is the first in a row of this shopping center and has been here since 2007 (they were previously elsewhere in the shopping center at 1927 Gessner Road from 2001 to 2007). The shopping center was built in 1975 and as of February 2023 features the following starting from Party Piñatas at 1905 Gessner: Vasti Beauty Salon (1909 Gessner), Irene & Charles Alterations (1911), House of Clippers Barber Shop (1913), Yerberia Botanica Ogun (1917), Open Box Resale Shop (1919), World Finance Loan & Tax Service (1923), Le New Nails (1925 Gessner), CM Chicken (also known as Choong Man Chicken, 1927), a vacancy (1933, an old karate studio), Tortilleria Rotiseria Matehuala (also known as Tortilleria Matehuala, 1935), Amco Auto Insurance (1939), Guarantee Loan (1943), Vape Bazaar (1945), a vacancy (1947, last home to "Postal Center", which did "word processing and typing" 2015), BBQ Garden (1949), Sun Loan (1955), Water Tree (1957), and Get-N-Save Food Mart (1959).

Pizza Hut / 2018 Gessner Road
A Pizza Hut was down the street at 1826 Gessner (demolished in 2009 for an AutoZone, before the AutoZone relocated to the much bigger former ALCO behind it a few years later). It was built in 1968 as a fast food restaurant per HCAD, with Winchell's Donut House being here from 1971 to 1986. Later, BoSa Donuts operated it (opening in 1986), with Pizza Hut relocating here in 1990.

Baxter & Cleo Veterinary Clinic / 2021 Gessner Road
This vet office has changed hands over the years. It assumed its current name around 2021; previously it was Spring Woods Veterinary Clinic. The building dates back to the 1970s, and it may not have always been a vet clinic.

2028 Gessner Road
This opened as a Sonic (operational from 1994 to around 2011-2012) and later replaced by "Taco Kaliente", which operated from approximately May 2012 to January 2015. It has been vacant since.

Papa John's Pizza / 2022 Gessner Road
Pizza Hut got direct competition when Papa John's opened in 1997. This used to be a Taco Bell in 1974, and while it isn't known when it closed, it probably moved to 1223 Gessner in 1996 with Papa John's opening soon after.

Weasel Wash / 2048 Gessner Road
Self-serve car wash with a custom sign. I can't find much on it, though...

2060 Gessner Road
Former Long John Silver's originally opened in 1974. The captain left the port in 2019 and is currently serving as a used car lot.

Gessner Auto Finance / 2102 Gessner Road
Diamond Shamrock opened here with their Corner Store brand in 1988 (replacing an older Tenneco station). In the late 2000s/early 2010s it converted to Valero (still Diamond Shamrock in 2008) but it closed in 2014. It opened as Texas Auto Finance in 2015, then became Laguna Niguel Auto Sales Inc. by 2019, before becoming its current name by February 2020, though also known as Southwest Enterprise.

El Gallo Mexican Restaurant / 2116 Gessner Road
The signage here says this has been here since 1971 and it sure looks like it. In 1969 this was the home of Bud's Fish n' Chips, which had five other Houston area locations.


This shopping center was built around 1970 anchored by Safeway, with an expansion facing Gessner built in the late 1980s. The base map found at this page is significantly out of date (archived here). McDonald's Express became a full-line McDonald's years ago, and the former KFC has been reoccupied since the early 2000s.
  • Planet Fitness at 10116 Hammerly goes back to the early 1970s as a Weiner's location, which it was until 2001 when the chain collapsed.
  • Kroger at 2300 Gessner Road was one of the new stores when the center redeveloped in the late 1980s. Safeway was originally at 10140 Hammerly since 1970 and moved around 1987 (the old Safeway was demolished as part of the process). In 1989, it was rebranded as AppleTree and sold off to Kroger in early 1994. This store is oddly arranged (an arrangement persisting to this day) where the perishable departments are in the center of the store, and the dry grocery sections are located in two different sections at right angles to each other. (This bizarre layout was one of the reasons why, when living in Spring Branch at the time, I had preferred the "Villages" store off of Katy Freeway). At some point in the 2000s, the "Signature" name was applied to the store (by that point, it was pretty much meaningless) but removed again the late 2010s.
  • New Wok Chinese Cafe at 2330 Gessner Road was Kentucky Fried Chicken was here from around 1982 to 1999 (it must have been incorporated into the shopping center parking lot later). It was "Top China" from 1999 to 2001 and its current tenant since. Other than that, there's not much on this building. KFC may have put the solarium windows in.
  • While I couldn't confirm or deny a Shell station as seen, the previous building has been gone since 2008 (and may not have even been a gas station in decades). The Verizon store at 2202 Gessner opened in 2012 on the site of a gas station, though it appears it had not served gas since the late 1980s. I could not confirm or deny the existence of a Shell station being there.

Taqueria Cancun / 2227 Gessner Road
This restaurant almost has the exact same story as 8111 S. Gessner Road. It started out as Steak 'n Shake in 1976, it became Grandy's in 1978, it became Taqueria Cancun in 1998...but has stayed as Taqueria Cancun since. Their 1630 Gessner location took the part of "becoming Taqueria Arandas".

Whataburger / 2429 Gessner Road
The reason why this Whataburger looks a bit unusual (no trademark A-frame, for instance) is because "Whataburger #137" originally was not a Whataburger. It has been a Whataburger since 1975.

Hillendahl Neighborhood Library / 2436 Gessner Road
This small City of Houston library opened in October 1971.

Mister Car Wash / 2466 Gessner Road
Beyond Hillendahl Neighborhood Library is a power line right of way. This car wash was built in 2021 on the site of Pavillion at Gessner (it looks like it did have two "L"s) at 2500 Gessner, which was a wedding and event venue. I'm not sure when it was closed but it was torn down in 2019.

Aldi / 2550 Gessner Road
This Aldi opened in spring 2020 in the former Pavillion parking lot (see above).

King Dollar / 2555 Gessner Road
Gerland's Food Fair had a second location on this stretch of Gessner from 1969 to 1983. Kyle's Minimax replaced it around 1984, and in 1990, became "Old America Store". King Dollar has been here since at least 1999.

Hartz Chicken Buffet / 2563 Gessner Road
Hartz Chicken has been here since at least late 1988.

LA Fitness / 2740 Gessner Road
Wal-Mart built a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market (#3451) here and opened in August 2001, yet Wal-Mart's grocery chain never really got a foothold in the Houston market as far as Neighborhood Market stores were concerned. It did get renovated and rebranded in 2009 or 2010 as "Neighborhood Market by Walmart" (luckily within a few years, they went with a new "Walmart Neighborhood Market" logo chainwide instead of that clumsy mess), yet this store never got this newer signage, so it was "Neighborhood Market by Walmart" until the store closed in January 2016 with over 250 others. It was later renovated and reopened as an LA Fitness in 2019.

Murphy USA / 2744 Gessner Road
Contrary to popular belief, Murphy USA is not owned by Walmart and this store continued to operate after the Neighborhood Market kicked the bucket (though Murphy Express is the usual brand used for stand-alone stores).


Also, just north of here, Gessner loses/gains the third lane from the inside of the road, just as it did south of Memorial City Mall. It is four lanes to the north of here.

KFC / 2767 Gessner Road
Located near the southwest corner of Kempwood Drive and Gessner and relocating circa 1999 from 2330 Gessner is this KFC. Attached to its parking lot (built at a different time, looks like) is a strip center anchored by H-E-B, which was formerly an Albertsons. This has a Kempwood Drive address. A more in-depth look is at Houston Historic Retail, describing its past as a failed Handy Andy.

Walgreens / 2808 Gessner Road
This Walgreens does not appear to have replaced anything. It was built in the late 1990s/early 2000s era.

Less than half a mile to the north was Pine Crest Country Club at 3080 Gessner. It closed in early 2017, and is currently being redeveloped into new subdivisions. The clubhouse has since been torn down.

LifeStorage / 2870 Gessner Rd.
This opened in 2007 as Spring Shadows Storage & Mini Office Warehouses. In 2014 it had assumed the Uncle Bob's Self Storage name and in 2016 became LifeStorage.

The Lodge at Spring Shadows / 10221 Centrepark Drive
This apartment complex was built in 2001, and a second phase was finished off in 2009.

Valero / 4310 Gessner Road
This was originally Stop-N-Go since 1983, which later added gas pumps (before eventually rebuilding them). Later on it became Corner Store in the mid-2000s and Circle K in the very late 2010s. Under Corner Store's tenure (and going into Circle K) it was Valero, previously, it was Diamond Shamrock.


Until around 2007 when the widening was completed, Gessner beyond this point was two way to Hempstead Road.

Swift / 5701 Gessner Road
This former Shell (gas station and convenience store) converted to "Swift" around December 2019 based on photos from Google. Indications it was built as a Shell in 1999.

Lunch at Sam's / 10151 Alfred Lane
I've seen 5800 Gessner listed as an address here (including a 1990 phone book), but LaS is one of the few places in this stretch of Gessner (the Tanner/Hempstead stretch is a pretty lonely stretch with only older homes and a few industrial buildings). Interestingly, 5800 Gessner in HCAD is actually 5800 South Gessner (where a McDonald's is). I can't verify how long Lunch at Sam's has been open (the sign says 1954, but I can only trace it back to 1982). The building was built in 1940 and converted to residential use according to the entry at 10151 Alfred Lane in HCAD but as of 1964, a schoolteacher by the name of Votie Anderson lived here with his children, so who knows how old the restaurant REALLY is. The plaster hamburger off of Gessner is interesting, though...

YES Prep Public Schools Northwest Campus / 14741 Yorktown Plaza Drive
According to this charter school's website, this has been operating since 2018. It's in an office building that was home to Sofec Inc. in the early 2010s.

The Nut Place / 6605 Gessner Road
No peanuts or almonds here at 6605 Gessner, which has been here since 2010 (the old location at 6606 Gessner operated from 1995 to 2010). This specialized fastener warehouse appears to be open to the public.

The Franklin / 6620 Gessner Road
This apartment complex was built around 2005.

Camillo Properties / 6707 Gessner Road
This was previously a State Farm Insurance. In the late 2010s it became Camillo Properties, and gave the building a new coat of white paint.

Courtyard by Marriott / 6708 Gessner Road
Courtyard by Marriott Houston NW/290 Corridor was opened in 2015 and actually faces the Northwest Freeway. The Northwest Freeway is here.


For years this was not a continuous road. The section between Bane Park and Northwest Freeway was built in the early 1990s, the section just north of it in the late 1990s, Emmott to Brookriver prior to 1989, Brookriver to Windfern Forest in the early 1990s, Windfern Forest to West Road in the late 1990s, West Road to Buttercup Springs in 2008, Buttercup Springs to Fallbrook in 2023, Fallbrook to Beltway 8 in the early 1990s, Beltway 8 to Tomball in the late 1990s, and the connecting portion to Willowbrook Mall's loop road when it was built.

US Med-Equip Inc. / 7028 Gessner Road
US Med-Equip (USME) has dozens of locations and regional support centers but their location on Gessner is their main headquarters. US Med-Equip built the facility for themselves in the year 2015.

Fairbanks Library / 7122 Gessner Road
This public library shares parking with Bane Park, but is a Harris County Public Library, not a part of City of Houston's.

Sunoco / 7677 Gessner Road
This opened in 2016 as Sunoco with Stripes inside. While Stripes converted to 7-Eleven sometime around 2020 or 2021, Laredo Taco Company, Stripes' taco concept, remains operational.

CVS/pharmacy / 7710 Gessner Road
This CVS was built and opened around 2004 as a CVS (not an Eckerd). It is one of the last confirmed Gessner addresses before Beltway 8.

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